Finding accommodations should be your first priority when planning a visit to Chautauqua. Accommodations can fill up long before gate passes even go on sale in January.
All accommodations within the Institution’s grounds are privately owned except for the Athenaeum Hotel and Bellinger Hall dormitory.
Tickets and passes go on sale begining in January.
To enter the Institution grounds, a gate pass is required for all visitors ages 13 to 90. Your gate pass entitles you to attend most events on the grounds, including all lectures, religious services and all Amphitheater entertainment.
Registration begins in January
Chautauqua’s Special Studies program continues to create distinct new learning opportunities for the 10,000 lifelong learners of all ages.
Registration begins in April.
More to do:
Buy Theater & Opera Tickets
Chautauqua on a Budget
Before you arrive:
Bring groceries. Many of the rental properties have kitchens or kitchenettes. There are limited grocery options on the grounds.
Be prepared for our weather. Most days are warm. On cloudy days, the temperature can be more moderate, so be prepared with a light jacket, long pants and an umbrella to keep you dry! It's always a good idea to pack an extra sweater or a heavier jacket for the chillier evenings.
Chautauqua is casual. Bring plenty of casual clothes and active wear. Many visitors wear casual clothes during the day and may dress up in the evening for dinner or a performace.
Bring your bike. Bring your bike or rent one when you arrive at the Jamestown Cycle Shop Bike Rent on Massey Avenue. Don't forget comfortable walking shoes! Chautauqua Institution is a pedestrian and cycling community.
Bring a seat cushion and lawn chair. Seat cushions come in handy in our Amphitheater, which has festival-style seating. Seating in our Hall of Philosophy can fill up quickly and many people enjoy programs from the comfort of their lawn chair.
Pack a flashlight. Don't forget your flashlight. It comes in handy for an evening walk by the lake or heading home after your nightly ice cream cone at the Brick Walk Cafe.
When you arrive
Weekends are a busy time at our entrance gates as many people arrive and depart from their stays. Traffic can become delayed at our Main Gate entrance. Here are some tips for avoiding a delay:
- If you already received your passes in the mail you can avoid the Main Gate and enter the gate nearest to your accommodations. Download our map of the grounds to find your entrance.
- Are you are picking up your passes or purchasing them when you arrive? If we are holding your passes they will be waiting for you at our Main Gate Welcome Center Will Call window. Please pull into our Main Gate entrance and use the 30-minute parking adjacent to the Welcome Center to pick up your passes. You can also purchase your passes at the Welcome Center when you arrive.
Unpacking and parking
- During their stay, most guests keep their vehicle in our Main Parking Lot across Route 394 from the grounds. When you enter the grounds, you will be issued a 45-minute drop-off pass. Head down to your accommodations so you can unpack your vehicle and load your groceries in the refrigerator. (Please be careful not to block the road for other traffic.)
- When you finish unloading you can drive up and park in our main parking, take the tram back to the grounds and catch the shuttle back to your accommodations. Make sure to bring your gate pass with you to re-enter the grounds.
What to do once you're settled in:
Pick up a copy of our newspaper. The Chautauquan Daily is available at Logan Hall and Chautauqua Bookstore, from boxes at the Main Gate and outside Gate 4 of the Amphitheater, or from sellers around Bestor Plaza. Each issue provides a full events schedule, coverage of many programs and important contact information.
The Visitors Center welcomes you!
Where: Bestor Plaza • Sunday to Thursday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Friday: 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. | Saturday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Whether you’re new to Chautauqua or not, the Visitors Center will provide you with all of the information you need to make your Chautauqua experience the best it could possibly be. New Visitor Information Session Information orientation sessions are held for Chautauqua first-timers at 6 p.m. Sunday nights on the first floor of the Hultquist Center. Learn the ins and outs of this unique place!